Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
WORLD champion Samson Muripo has revealed he nearly pulled out of the Kyokushin Karate jamboree in Russia, but decided to compete to honour the memory of his late father.
The karateka’s father passed away while he was in Russia, and the devastating news almost forced him to skip the championships.
However, Muripo said a number of colleagues and fellow karatekas rallied behind him and asked him to compete in memory of his late father.
He showed incredible mental strength to win the world championship in the Veterans category.
Muripo returned home yesterday and received a hero’s welcome from fellow karatekas and fans at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
“All glory to God, the Maker of this mortal, who is my strength all the time,’’ said Muripo.
“At first I thought I wouldn’t take part because it pained me so much, but through encouragement from Hanshi Bastiaan Lindert van Stenis and people who were in constant touch with me, karatekas, family members and friends, I had to do it for my father.
“I can say pressure makes diamonds. I fought for him.
“So I think he is happy where he is. I took myself to a one-fight-at-a time mode, thus giving my best as if it is the last fight.’’
Muripo said everything he has achieved so far in karate was because of sacrifice and hard work.
“It takes sacrifice. I train more than I sleep. I love my karate and invest in my day-to-day activities towards becoming a better person than before,’’ he said.
“Once you carry your own water, you will learn to value each drop of your exploits.
“The world of kumite, fighting belongs to men with real backbones. However, I love fighting.
“Knowing that all these achievements were established before the foundation of the world by their Maker.
“I remain humbled by the gift He bestowed upon me.
“I will remain steadfast to my goals until they are finished, when He will recall me back to His eternal glory.’’
Zimbabwe So-kyokushin Karate-Do Organisation vice chairperson George Maposa hailed Muripo and his dedication to the sport.
“Shihan Samson Muripo is an achiever in terms of karate, not only in Zimbabwe, but in Africa,’’ he said.
“Remember in 2009, in the same competition, he was the first African to win gold and that was in Japan, in the backyard of karate.
“And, this time around, he won gold again in the legends section.
“We are really happy as Zimbabweans. We are really happy as karatekas, and I wish the upcoming karatekas can really work hard and know that something of this nature can be achieved.
“Even if you are fighting in Russia, Europe or Asia and even with limited resources, it’s possible, because Shihan Samson Muripo actually sponsored himself to go to Russia and all the way back.
“So it shows the kind of commitment he has in karate and in developing karate.’’
The top Zimbabwean karateka has over the years continued to prove he is one of the best, winning several international competitions abroad and has been involved in the development of other emerging karatekas in the country.